23 March 2018
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  • 23/03/2018 - RUSSIA-VATICAN

    Francis is travelling to the Baltics in late September; Kirill will be Belarus in mid-October. In power for almost 25 years, Belorussian President Lukashenko would be quite happy to see a meeting take place. The nunciature and the patriarchate are working at it. Belarus has an ecumenical vocation. A new concordat giving Catholics the same rights as the Orthodox is close at hands.

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    23/03/2018 - CHINA-US

    Stock markets plummet over Beijing and Washington’s 'trade war’

    by Paul Wang

    Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen suffer losses. Trump signs a memo to apply duties worth $ 60 billion. Beijing imposes duties on 120 types of US products imported for 977 billion and threatens additional tariffs for another 2 billion. The question of intellectual properties. China "is not afraid of a trade war".

    23/03/2018 - VATICAN-CHINA

    Abp. Gallagher: 'Fully Catholic and genuinely Chinese'

    Speaking at a conference at the Gregorian University, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, says that a fruitful encounter between the "Christian world" and the "Chinese world" is possible through the inculturation of faith through the concrete experience of knowledge of the artistic culture, of friendship with the Chinese people.


    23/03/2018 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan: Lent initiatives for the poor, prisoners and the disabled (video)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Trees near parish buildings have become food collection points for the poor. In Faisalabad free courses are offered to students who have dropped out of school. Spiritual pilgrimages are organised in homes for the disabled run by nuns.

    23/03/2018 - ITALY – VIETNAM

    Rome and Hanoi celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations

    Vietnam is Italy’s main partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On 21 January 2013, the two governments signed a strategic partnership agreement. Trade between the two countries is expected to reach US$ 6 billion this year. Italy is 31st out of 128 countries in terms of investments in Vietnam, with 88 projects worth more than US$ 388 million.

    23/03/2018 - PHILIPPINES

    In Mindanao Silsilah offers hope and peace after the war

    The movement has organised arts-related activities for Maranao children. Christian and Muslim members renew their action at Mindanao State University (MSU). In Malabang, where Christians are a shrinking minority, a nun has stayed behind to engage in pastoral work as a "witness of love".


    US set for billion dollar arms sale to the Saudis

    The agreement was signed during the meeting between President Trump and the Saudi hereditary prince, who is visiting the United States. Congress now has30 days for ratification, which provides for the supply of 6700 anti-tank missiles. Amnesty International: It’s not just the United States fuelling the conflict in Yemen with the arms trade, but also the United Kingdom and France.

    23/03/2018 - MALDIVES

    Maldives lifts state of emergency

    The restrictive measure had been in place for 45 days. Former president-dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom investigated for terrorism. Opposition wiped out by the current head of state Yameen. Free field for trade agreements with Beijing.

    23/03/2018 - SOUTH KOREA

    Lee Myung-back, another former South Korean president in prison for corruption

    The fourth in the history of the country and the second in recent times, together with Park Geun-hye. He faces 12 charges, including corruption, embezzlement, tax evasion and abuse of power. He risks 45 years in prison. The reactions of the South Korean political world.

    23/03/2018 - INDIA

    Uttarakhand adopts draft bill against forced conversions

    The new Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion bill follows the existing anti-conversion law. Christians in the state are 0.3 per cent of the population. The draft’s aim is “to threaten religious minorities” and “Dalits”.


    World Water Day: EU to build plant in Gaza where 97 per cent of the water is polluted

    In Gaza, 80 per cent of children under three years suffer from diarrhoea. Various countries and agencies discussed plans in Brussels. Israel promised not to hinder the project, which will cost around 563 million euros. For Israeli NGO, the plan is welcome, but not enough. Israel’s blockade must stop.

    22/03/2018 - INDONESIA

    A special unit set up to capture a Sumatran tiger that has killed

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Two people, a 32-year-old plantation worker and a 34-year-old worker, have been killed. A special team is trying to capture the animal alive to move it to a nature reserve. The tiger has already escaped two attempts to capture it; it has also killed many domestic animals.

    22/03/2018 - ASIA

    Following the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica affair, Asian political parties deny reports

    The London-based company might have violated the sensitive data of more than 50 million Facebook users in an attempt to anticipate and influence voters’ choice. SCL India, which is part of the same parent company, has reported that it has both of India’s main parties as clients. The affair has touched Malaysia. Seven of the top ten countries for social media penetration are in Asia.

    22/03/2018 - YEMEN

    Negotiations between Saudis and Houthi a good basis for peace in Yemen

    An exclusive source talks to AsiaNews. As the conflict continues to reap innocent lives, the humanitarian situation remains "tragic", especially in health and education. Meetings in Oman are a starting point for a stable and lasting ceasefire, but an agreement between the parties requires patience and saving appearances.

    22/03/2018 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Goodbye to the Religious Affairs Bureau: religions are now under the direct control of the Party

    by Wang Zhicheng

    The reform, wanted by the Party’s Central Committee, was voted by the National People’s Congress and made public yesterday. Some Christians see no change: the repression continues. A Protestant professor: It's an important change since the Mao era. What it reveals is the unlimited expansion of Party power. Doubts about the dialogue between China and the Vatican: The Catholic Church will become an instrument of support for the Party. The promotion of Xia Baolong, the destroyer of Zhejiang crosses.

    22/03/2018 - JAPAN

    Japanese dioceses celebrate new priestly ordinations (photos)

    Seminarians and deacons were consecrated yesterday across Japan: Sapporo, Saitama, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka. The number of foreign priests is growing.

    22/03/2018 - SYRIA

    Caritas Syria: In abyss of conflict, glimmers of hope and solidarity

    Eight years since the beginning of the war, at least 12 million people are living in conditions of extreme need. Victims are not numbers, but faces. A young man who lost his legs in the explosion of a missile can now walk again thanks to prostheses. A mother can buy powdered milk for her malnourished twins. A decent home and medicines for an elderly couple.

    22/03/2018 - ISRAEL-PALESTINE

    Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, sentenced to eight months in prison over slap

    The video of her slapping an Israeli soldier has made her symbol of resistance. The sentence comes with a plea agreement. B'tselem denounces the violation of the rights of minors, forced to accept agreements to return to their normal lives.

    22/03/2018 - PAKISTAN

    Archbishop Arshad: Pakistan’s Christians, 'a small flock strong in faith'

    by Anna Chiara Filice

    The Pakistani bishops met Pope Francis as part of their Ad limina visit. "A friendly meeting, like a family". The Pakistani Church works for everyone and is appreciated in the field of education and medical care. Dialogue with religious leaders; hopes for young people.

    21/03/2018 - KOREA

    Pyongyang positive on dialogue with Seoul with confidence based on strength

    State media deny North Korea is acting under the pressure of sanctions. “Such rubbish” like from “a dog barking at the moon”. An intra-Korean summit is set for next month. US President Donald Trump will meet Kim in late May.

    21/03/2018 - CHINA – EUROPE

    Dolkun Isa: Beijing also persecutes the Uyghurs abroad

    Students and activists are targeted. The relatives of Uyghurs in exile are sent to "re-education camps". The families in China are hostage to blackmail students abroad. The world’s silence favours the Chinese government.

    21/03/2018 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lankan groups want UN Convention on the elimination of women’s discrimination implemented

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Sri Lanka ratified the Convention in 1981 but women still have to struggle for their fundamental rights. They are still paid less than men. The Human Rights Commission wants improved conditions for women working in the informal sector.

    21/03/2018 - AFGHANISTAN

    Kabul, hope and blood on Nowruz

    The ancient Zoroastrian festival marks the start of a new year. Ahead of Christian preparations for Easter, Kabul’s parish priest expresses best wishes that spring may come to society. “We can all – Christians and Muslims – benefit from the life that blooms from the death of Jesus!” he said. Likewise, there is hope for negotiations with the Taliban.

    21/03/2018 - VIETNAM

    Saigon seminarians on a pastoral visit in the footsteps of Pope Francis

    by Joseph Nguyen Truc

    Seminarians "can support the hồn tông đồ, the apostolic soul of the consecrated life, in order to become future priests capable of carrying out pastoral and social activities in the service of parish communities.” Helping the poor and migrants is one of the many challenges in the parishes of Thới Hòa and Hội Nghĩa, Phú Cường diocese. In Mỹ Tho, the healing of a woman converts 30 people to the Catholic faith.

    21/03/2018 - INDIA

    Indian bishops invite the faithful to celebrate April as ‘Dalit history month'

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes wants to commemorate the people who struggle for the emancipation of the former "untouchables". Applications can be submitted until 25 March.

    21/03/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope: Christian life is like a plant, it does not bloom without a root, and the root is Jesus

    "The Eucharist makes us strong to gift the flowers of good works". "As it unites us to Christ, wresting us from our selfishness, Communion opens and unites us to all those who are one in Him. This is the prodigy of Communion: we become what we receive!". On August 25 and 26 Francis will travel to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.

    21/03/2018 - CHINA - UN

    Beijing diplomat tries to silence dissident Yang Jianli at the UN

    The UN Human Rights Council discussed the need for NGOs to do their work for human rights without interference. Diplomat Chen Cheng tried to block the dissident's speech.

    21/03/2018 - MYANMAR

    Naypyitaw, President Htin Kyaw resigns

    He was the first civilian elected by the parliament to hold the office since the 1962 coup. He is a close confidant of Aung San Suu Kyi, to whom he is linked by a deep friendship. In January, Htin Kyaw launched an appeal for the modification of the militarist Constitution and for justice to all ethnic minorities.

    21/03/2018 - SAUDI ARABIA - INDONESIA

    Saudi executions continue as Indonesian migrant beheaded for (alleged) homicide

    The 53-year-old Zaini Misrin was sentenced to death. He was accused of killing his employer in 2004. During the trial, the right to defence was denied and the confession was extorted with deception. Since the rise to power of Mohammed bin Salman the number of executions have doubled.

    21/03/2018 - SYRIA

    Damascus, Ghouta East rebels hit central market: 37 dead and 35 wounded

    Attacks by anti-government militias intensify. Rockets and missiles mostly affect civilians, even children. Yesterday a market capital, crowded with people busy shopping for Mother's Day was hit. Witness: "terrifying" explosion. The evacuation of civilians from Ghouta east continues.

    Editor's choices

    Putin's victory seen from West and East

    Xi Jinping sent a highly congratulatory message. Japan and Germany issued polite words. The Observatory for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Tensions with Britain remain over the ex-spy poisoning. For Chinese scholar, as the West continues to attack Russia and China, the two will move closer.

    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    John Ai

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.


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